Solar Means Business

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The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) produced its 5th edition in October 2016 of Solar Means Business, Tracking Solar Adoption by America’s Top Companies, which examines large corporations’ adoption of solar, which has expanded from 300 megawatts (MW) in 2012 to over 1 gigawatt (GW) in 2016.

The analysis looks only at the largest adopters of solar, not all corporate solar in the U.S., which represents 16 percent of all non-residential, non-utility-scale solar photovoltaic capacity in the country. SEIA’s data come from solar companies, solar installers, and publicly available date, such as press releases or state regulatory bodies.

The highlights from the report include:

  • In the first three quarters of 2016, 142 MW of corporate solar was added in the U.S., more than the total installed in 2015, which was 129 MW.
  • Target edges out Walmart for the first time for the company with the most installed solar (Target: 147.5 MW to Walmart: 145 MW—although Walmart still leads in number of installations).
  • The largest solar adopters provide 1,092 MW of power across 1,947 installations, up from 907 MW across 1,686 installations in 2015
  • The systems collectively produce 1.5 million MWh annually, enough to power 193,000 homes, and offset 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year
  • Commercial solar prices have fallen 58 percent since 2012, and 16 percent in the last year
  • Large-scale solar procurement driven by Apple and Amazon, as well as continued installations at Target and Walmart, among other major corporations is expected to drive growth in the near term.
  • Only 7 percent of Walmart’s 5,000 + facilities and only 2 percent of Albertson’s (formerly Safeway) 2,000 + facilities have gone solar, so there is considerable room to add more solar.

The graph below shows the solar capacity installed by the top 10 corporations included in the report:

Top 10 Corporate Solar Capacity